George Clinton & Parliement Funkadelic with Genetics 11.17.13

The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

The Oriental Theater was packed with an odd mix of folks present to watch the Denver Broncos play the Kansas City Chiefs and to get down to some funk from one of the genre's pioneers. Beer and Bronco jerseys mixed with marijuana and patchouli, while Genetics sat upstairs in their greenroom. On that particular evening the band was joined by manager, Ryan Garvey and photographer, Jedediah Liddell. There was a buzz backstage with people heading in every direction with gear, "costumes" and no place to be. The band was in a bit of a pickle as their opening set was quickly approaching and the football game was still in the third quarter. As an outsider with nothing to lose or gain, it was the perfect storm for an awkward situation. I pictured the band wandering out in front of the big screen to a venue full of booing sports fans, however, that was not the case. Instead, music fans made their way to the floor and tuned into the sounds of Genetics with special guest Chuck Morris (Lotus).

Genetics Live at Oriental Theater on November 17, 2013.

As they began, Genetics quickly captured the attention of the previously distracted crowd. Scott Anderson made the keys scream and Joel Searls took over on the low end, flying through tasty grooves. Jeff Ervine's shredding guitar featured sweep after sweep of notes while Nat Snow drove the jam on a crisp and consistent drum work. The evening's guest, Chuck Morris, followed suit with perfect fills and percussion layering. Together, the band is as good as any within' the Colorado jam/progressive realm. With concepts that start and stop on the drop of a dime, then expand to mind blowing proportions, Genetics tore down The Oriental. The large room filled in quickly and before long, the band was playing to one of the larger crowds that I had seen them in front of. Backstage members of Parliament shuffled around preparing for their set, stopping only to check out the evening's opener with an unexpected look being impressed. Through progressive rock tracks, jamtronica composition and spacey songs, Genetics threw down. Upon the conclusion of their set, they received a large showing of appreciation from the large crowd.

Genetics quickly shuffled off stage and began to load out quickly to make room for the large closer. After finally completing their work for the evening, the band, their manager and photographer Jedediah, wound down out back of The Oriental. Just prior to taking the stage, George Clinton walked up with his fur coat and his security detail. I posed for a quick photo with him and a short time later the Mothership had landed in Denver. Before the near capacity crowd knew it, the stage was packed with members of Parliament, the volume was cranked and the nonsense was in full swing. Between George holding a vocal mic directly to a cranked guitar amp, the musicians competing for center stage and George yelling inaudibly into the mic, the performance was a mess. Classic after classic P-Funk song entered the earholes of the paying music goers, and though most seemed to appreciate, I could only take so much.

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